Nine killed, more than 100 wounded in PKK attack in Turkey’s Diyarbakır
At least nine people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Bağlar district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır early on Nov. 4.
“Two police officers and five citizens, one of whom was a technician, have lost their lives. One terrorist was apprehended dead,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told journalists at a press briefing, adding that a bomb-laden car was detonated by the militants.
“Separatist terrorism has shown its baseless, disgusting face once again in Diyarbakır. A bomb-laden vehicle was detonated in an area where anti-terror police were stationed, where citizens were going to work, and where children were going to schools. Among the over hundred wounded, 93 have been released from hospital and the treatment of seven others is ongoing,” Yıldırım added.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Diyarbakır Mayor Hüseyin Aksoy, recently appointed by Ankara after elected mayor Gültan Kışanak was removed from office, to receive information regarding the attack.
“We won’t surrender to terror. Those who are linked to terror organizations will account for it,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş wrote on his Twitter account.
According to a statement issued by the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office, PKK militants claimed responsibility for the attack, which left massive damage on the buildings around the explosion scene. The statement added that the attack was carried out near the police headquarters in a very crowded area.
Initial examinations showed that the attack was carried out with over a ton of explosives, forming a large blast hole on the ground. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) carried out investigations in the area.
Eyewitnesses described horrific scenes, saying the bomb-laden minibus crashed into a taxi as it was heading to the entrance of the police headquarters. The minibus did not stop after the crash and kept on heading towards the police headquarters, prompting the taxi driver to follow the vehicle.
The taxi driver reportedly shouted “Bomb!” as he opened the doors of the minibus and saw explosives inside.
According to eye-witnesses, some citizens fled the scene and police took up their positions around the bus before the PKK militants detonated the vehicle.
The wounded were taken to the nearby hospitals after the explosion. It is reported that one of those injured was a baby who lost her eye and was airlifted to a hospital in the capital Ankara. Some ambulances were carrying four or five wounded people, according to eyewitnesses.
Police took strict security measures around the area, while people in detention in the police headquarters close to the area were sent to other police headquarters as a precaution.
69 operations against PKK ongoing: Ministry
The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, has announced that a total of 69 operations, from small to large scale, against the PKK are ongoing in several provinces across Turkey in the aftermath of the attack.